British Armed Forces Broadcasting Service – The first step towards security council action would be to ask the International Atomic Energy Agency to call an emergency meeting. Hossein Abedini is the spokesperson for the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Mr. Abedini, how seriously do you view the decision to restart the nuclear research?
Hossein Abedini: I think it is very serious and the removal and breaking the IAEA seals at the sensitive Natanz site is a direct challenge to the will of the international community and the mullahs are thumbing their nose at the international community.
So in the face of their intransigence and nuclear brinkmanship the international community has no option other than referring the Iranian regime to the United Nations Security Council and failure to do so immediately and without any hesitation will only be seen by the radical fundamentalist rulers in Tehran as a sign of weakness. Only recently Mullahs’ president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that his hard line policy to force the Europeans to drop their demands and agree to start fresh round of talks despite the regime’s flagrant violation of previous agreements, so giving in to the Iranian regime’s demands and continuing the appeasement is not an option.
Presenter: What would you like to see the international community do?
Hossein Abedini: Well, we think that since Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Iranian regime who has got the final say in every field has reiterated and re-affirmed what his president, Ahmadinejad has said. Khamenei is following his policies in three key areas: First of all to continue suppression of the Iranian people at home, secondly to increase meddling in Iraq and thirdly to go ahead with its nuclear weapons policy. So we believe that the regime must be sent immediately to the Security Council of the United Nations for binding comprehensive international sanctions to be adopted. But security council referral on its own will not be enough. The western governments must once and for all abandon the policy of appeasement and they must support the democratic aspirations of millions of Iranians who want to see an end to the rule of the brutal religious dictatorship in Iran.
Presenter: Mr. Abedini what would you like to see the international community to do. Would you like to see sanctions as you mentioned just now?
Hossein Abedini: Exactly. We believe that the first step is international sanctions because there is no other option left and if this is not done in a few months or a couple of years we will be facing the most dreadful scenario: the most dangerous regime in the world being armed with the world’s most dangerous weapons.
Presenter: But it has been said in the past that the sanctions will hurt the population and is not going to harm the nuclear program which has been going on clandestinely in these years.
Hossein Abedini: Well I think the Iranian people have shown very strongly that the overwhelming majority of the people support the downfall of this religious dictatorship so they would support any sanctions against the mullahs because the mullahs are using the oil revenue for suppressing the Iranian people and for the terrorist activities throughout the world and they are spending billions of dollars for their nuclear weapons program, therefore when we speak about sanctions, we want a mechanism to deprive them of carrying murderous and heinous activities inside Iran as well as their terrorist activities outside Iran.
Presenter: Where does the National Council of Resistance of Iran stand on direct military action? Is it something that you would advocate?
Hossein Abedini: The National Council of Resistance of Iran and its president elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi have said clearly that the appeasement is not an option and we do not support a military action either. We believe that Iran has got a very strong opposition movement and Mrs. Rajavi presented the third option which means that the real solution for Iran is to take side with millions of Iranians and to support the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people rather than giving concessions to the mullahs and we believe that if this policy of appeasement in ended and the Iranian people and their resistance movement are supported, the people of Iran themselves are able to get rid of the mullahs regime.
Presenter: Not easy though in Iran I think to give a vote of confidence against the government and force an election. I guess if that this was an easy thing to do, that option would have been taken in the past.
Hossein Abedini: The people of Iran do not have any hope for change to happen from within this theocracy. Ali Khamenein has given greater powers to the revolutionary guards, the elite force of the Islamic republic …
Presenter: Let me bring you back to the previous question if I may, I asked whether or not the National Council of Resistance of Iran would supports a direct military action and you said no they don’t they want to support the democratic way and then your answer to the next question is that it is impossible, where does that leave you?
Hossein Abedini: I must stress that since November there have been 550 protests and demonstrations against the regime and last year there have been some 2000 acts of protests and strikes and demonstrations against the regime and there is a very volatile situation inside Iran and a very strong opposition movement and we believe a key signal to the Iranian people that the west has ended this policy of appeasement and is not any more just thinking about its trade and ties with the mullahs, is to end blacklisting of the main Iranian opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran.
Presenter: Surely this has been successful because the regime has chosen to tolerate this kind of dissent.
Hossein Abedini: Well that is not really the case. There has been very serious crackdown and thousands of people have been executed and since Ahmadinejad has come to power the regime has itself announced that some 130 people have publicly been hanged and executed, 40 juveniles are in the death row and are waiting for their execution and already seven under 18 year old children have been executed by the mullahs regime. This is in order to create an atmosphere of terror and it only shows that the regime is trying to suppress the people inside Iran. So we believe that the time has really come for the West to adopt a very decisive policy vis-à-vis this religious dictatorship. The head of Policy Centre, an aide to Ahmadinejad, an individual by the name of Alireza Zaker recently said that Ahmadinejad has been using a policy of shock and awe in its foreign policy and we have already seen his repugnant remarks and his call for Israel to be wiped off the map and the denial of holocaust and the reaffirmation of this by Khamenei really all shows that it is high time that the Iranian regime should be sent to the United Nations Security Council.
Presenter: Mr. Abedini just the last question. I am sorry to draw you on this but I really want to know the way forward. It would appear that the government is more than capable of almost crushing any kind of rebellion, so would your organization be looking for some sort of outside help, militarily or otherwise?
Hossein Abedini: We believe what the Iranian regime is doing is not first of all from a position of strength but it is from a position of weakness and the reason they have decided to confront the international matters and the internal situation through these aggressive methods, it shows that they are very vulnerable and the majority of people are against them and although they have been suppressing the rebellion and opposition inside Iran but we believe that there is a very strong opposition movement and as soon as this policy of appeasement and giving one way concessions and further discussions and negotiations with the regime is ended and the people of Iran are supported and their democratic aspirations are recognized, the people of Iran do have the power to get rid of the radical fundamentalists ruling their country. So we believe that the way that the international community can help the Iranian people is to stop any deals with this religious dictatorship and to support the people in their movement to overthrow the regime.
Presenter: Indeed, so we come to sanctions. Hossein Abedini thank you very much for your time sir, thank you.